There are a lot of challenges in running a tech project. You need to come up with a feasible idea, choose the right platform, and lay out the timeline. Business owners face a ton of challenges along the way — one of the highest hurdles to jump through is hiring software developers.
To understand how difficult it is to close programming job openings, think about the fact that 69% of American employers struggle to find talent. With that being the case for 2021, in the future, the need for developers will be even dire. By 2028, experts predict over 284,000 new jobs in software engineering.
How to make sure your project survives the war for talent unscathed? Where to hire app developers? In this post, we will review 5 ways to hire software developers — some of these will definitely help you get in touch with skilled talent.
LinkedIn connects millions of talent managers with software developers. Programming is one of the most demanding jobs on the platform — here are 6 top sub-specialties of software engineering:
- Front-end programmers
- Application engineers
- Data science and machine learning engineers
- Mobile developers
- Infrastructure and cloud engineering
- QA professionals.
Before using LinkedIn to hire programmers, HR managers should understand the benefits and limitations of the platform:
Pros of Using LinkedIn to hire developers
- Allows talent managers to connect with “passive” candidates — people who are not considering job openings at the moment but will likely change their minds in the nearest future. Typically, getting in touch with such professionals is not easy since they are not active on job-search platforms — that’s where using LinkedIn comes in handy.
- Direct connection with the candidate. LinkedIn offers a faster and more straightforward way to get in touch with tech talent compared to email or phone calls. Once talent managers are ready to make the most out of LinkedIn Premium, starting a conversation with skilled professionals will be a smooth ride.
- Solid understanding of a candidate’s enthusiasm and personality. Traditional CVs are often plain and give recruiters no idea what a job applicant is like personality-wise. That’s not the case for LinkedIn profiles — they give candidates a ton of room for self-expression, helping business owners and HR managers figure out how motivated and eager to learn a professional is.
Cons of using LinkedIn to hire developers:
- Limited tools for assessing developer skillsets. LinkedIn gives talent managers no direct access to a candidate’s portfolio nor a way to evaluate the quality of code written by the programmer. That’s why recruiters often act on intuition when reaching out to candidates via the platform or rely on guesswork.
- There’s no unified network for developers. There’s a reason why developers don’t feel at home on LinkedIn — there are no communities that make programmers feel at home. That’s why a lot of engineers prefer niche platforms to find jobs — Slack channels, Reddit threads, and others.
- No way to assess the quality of endorsements. Tech recruiters should take LinkedIn endorsements with a grain of salt since people confirming a candidate’s skills could have nothing to do with programming. Unfortunately, it’s common for two strangers to endorse each other for the sake of competitive, good-looking profiles.
#2. Job search platforms
Although job search engines have been around for a while, they are still relevant hubs where to find programmers for hire. For example, there are over 200 million people visiting Indeed every month — the platform features over 100,000,000 uploaded CVs.
As a business owner, you might be wondering if job search platforms are any good for hiring tech talent. Let’s find out by assessing their benefits and drawbacks.
Pros of using job search platforms to hire developers:
- Wide range of platforms. There are hundreds of generalists (Indeed, Monster) and specialist (Dice, The Ladders) job boards — business owners can explore them at their own convenience and find the website that meets the team’s hiring needs.
- Robust filtering. Job search websites help talent managers set precise selection criteria for job candidates. A business owner or an HR can go through candidates who match salary expectations, have enough experience, and are skilled in technologies needed for the project. On top of that, talent managers can filter coders for hire who are not considering full-time positions or are from irrelevant areas.
- Popular job search destination for college graduates. Regardless of their declining popularity, job boards are still the main way for fresh CS graduates to get entry-level jobs. Maintaining a strong presence on these platforms means helps recruiters have the lead in claiming enthusiastic young programmers with affordable rates, readiness-to-learn, and humility.
It’s worth noting that, when hiring developers using job boards, business owners need to ask candidates clear and efficient software engineer interview questions.
Cons of using job search platforms to hire developers:
- Outdated interfaces. Most renowned platforms (Indeed, Monster) have been created decades ago — as a result, they are slow and cumbersome.
- No way to assess a candidate’s skills or confirm identity. Most job search platforms don’t have protection mechanisms against identity fraud or scam — a CV and a cover letter is all a talent manager gets from a job applicant. That’s why recruiters need to be twice as careful to not waste time messaging dodgy candidates.
- A lot of applications but few are relevant. If you decide to use traditional job opening boards, brace yourself for thousands of applications from all over the world. However, keep in mind that, by the end of the campaign, a tiny fraction of candidates will make it to the next round of screening. With a high number of applications, sorting through CVs will turn into a time-consuming process.
#3. Freelance boards
Hiring freelance programmers is a win-win decision for a lot of tech teams — on the one hand, it gives business owners commitment-free access to talent. On the other hand, the popularity of freelancing is steadily growing among contractors — over 40% of the American workforce make a living by freelance gigs.
There’s a flip side to using freelance boards as well — unreliable talent, shortage of top-notch professionals, and others. Let’s take a closer look at the opportunities and challenges recruiters and business owners face when using freelance job boards to hire programmers online.
Pros of using freelance job platforms to hire developers:
- Cost savings. Hiring a freelance developer is a smart cost reduction mechanism since a business owner doesn’t have to pay for the office nor invest in employee benefits.
- Low-risk investment. One of the reasons why business owners hire web developers via freelance platforms is because pulling out of the agreement takes little-to-no effort. In case the project didn’t live up to your expectations, it’s easy to terminate the collaboration with a freelance contractor.
- No legislative headache. For some teams, relying on contractors is a smart compliance measure. For example, according to the Affordable Care Act, employing over 50 people adds up to the amount of paperwork and tax returns. Since most business owners have enough on their plates as is, hiring a freelancer instead of increasing the full-time headcount is a smart way to scale.
Cons of using freelance job platforms to hire developers
- No proven accessibility. Business owners have no control over contractors’ schedules. As a result, a tech team leader might face a shortage of talent when an urgent tweak is needed. To make sure there is no standstill whenever a freelancer is unavailable, business owners typically keep a pool of contractors.
- Confidential data protection. Freelance contractors are not bound by any documents to keep clients’ data a secret. That’s why, for business owners, sharing sensitive project details with freelancers is always a risk.
- Freelancers are not committed to the project. If a business owner wants to assemble a tech team that will work on the product for years, hiring freelancers is not a way to accomplish this objective. As a rule of thumb, independent contractors are not passionate about the project and don’t have such an in-depth understanding of the product as full-time employees do.
#4. Tech communities
When facing the challenge of hiring tech talent, a logical step for business owners is to find places that are natural habitats where to hire programmers. Such platforms include Stack Overflow, GitHub, related Reddit threads, and Slack communities. Although these communities are not as widely used to hire coders as job boards, LinkedIn, or freelance platforms, they can lead business owners to skilled developers.
To give team leaders an understanding of whether getting to know highly specialized communities is worth their while, we broke down the benefits and limitations of these spaces:
Pros of using tech communities to hire developers:
- A large talent pool of skilled developers in rare technologies. It might not be easy to find a Rust or Erlang developer on LinkedIn since these are not mainstream technologies. However, once you take the search to GitHub or a themed Reddit thread, connecting with skilled developers isn’t a problem to the same extent — there are dedicated communities of engineers skilled in rare programming languages.
- Social proof. Specialized communities give recruiters an inside view of how much a candidate is respected by peers. For example, a GitHub follower count is a metric that helps distinguish amateurs and top-notch engineers. The way a prospective candidate answers Stack Overflow questions also helps understand how well an engineer can explain complex concepts to junior peers.
- Lower competition. Another reason for recruiters to use specialized tech platforms rather than traditional job boards or career networking sites is that programmers don’t get that many offers on Reddit or GitHub — that’s why they are likelier to pay attention to employers reaching out.
Cons of using tech communities to hire developers:
- Little-to-no job search infrastructure. While some candidates share their personal data in GitHub profiles or in a Slack chat, in most cases, recruiters should put in extra hours of research to find a way to get in touch with a skilled developer. That’s why connecting with talent on niche platforms typically takes more time compared to mainstream tools.
- Some of the best engineers don’t use them. GitHub, Stack Overflow, and other communities are not as popular as to suppose that all engineers actively contribute. In fact, it’s common for excellent engineers to have GitHub contributions, making themselves next to invisible to recruiters.
- Looking through GitHub projects take a lot of time — and most of them aren’t that impressive. These days, college students and entry-level developers are advised to create GitHub repositories as early in their education as possible. That’s why recruiters are likely to go through a ton of CS 101 projects before stumbling upon those that do catch their eye. Naturally, such a long and futile vetting process drags the hiring campaign.
#5. Employers of record overseas
Finally, a smart way to deal with talent shortage is by turning to regions where the density of employers isn’t as high as is the case for the US and European Union. Hiring talent in regions like Eastern Europe or Latin America is a way to both cut costs and quickly close job openings.
Since getting to know the market you choose for sourcing talent takes time and effort, team managers started taking shortcuts and using platforms and agencies that help hire developers abroad.
Let’s take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of employer of record organizations:
Pros of using employers of record to hire developers:
- Employers of record take full responsibility for paperwork, administrating benefits, and maintaining a tech team overseas.
- Having access to an international workforce reduces operating costs and speeds up hiring campaigns.
- A possibility to enter new markets, discover new development trajectories, and access innovative global tech practices.
Cons of using employers of record to hire developers:
- Time zone difference and distance barrier. Working with a global team comes with a period of transition — for example, a business owner should make sure that all documents are available in the language employees can understand (usually English) and schedule meetings at a time international teammates are comfortable with.
- It’s important to choose a reliable vendor. An employer of record will have access to the company’s financial data, employees’ sensitive information, and be involved in team management. That’s why business owners should not rush with choosing an EOR entity and do detailed research before locking it in with a vendor.
The Bottom Line
Talent shortage keeps getting in a way of innovative projects since SME and startup managers lose the fight for talent to large-scale corporations. That’s why business owners need to explore new hiring strategies and platforms.
At Bridge, we believe that hiring developers abroad is a smart way to avoid being hit by a talent shortage. Our team helps business owners connect with developers in Argentina, Mexico, and Ukraine, cutting operating costs and saving hiring time.
Find out how we help teams hire reliable development teams. To have a chat with the team — leave us a message!